Consumer Confidence in U.S. Fell in May to Four-Month Low [View all]
By Timothy R. Homan - 2012-05-29T14:18:25Z
Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in May to the lowest level in four months as Americans grew more pessimistic about the labor market.
The Conference Board’s confidence index decreased to 64.9 from a revised 68.7 in the prior month, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a reading of 69.6.
The weakest payroll gains in six months may raise concerns that economic growth is not fast enough to bring down the jobless rate. More employment is needed to boost consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
“We are making progress when it comes to the labor market, but clearly this is another sign that it’s still very slow- going,” said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, whose forecast was closest. “When we see expectations get marked down, that can cause consumers to think twice about making big-ticket purchases.”